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London Celebrates St Patrick's Day
- Central London goes Irish with festival and parade

ERIN GO BRAUGH means 'Ireland forever' but St. Patrick's Day isn't just for the Irish. This weekend, all kinds of Londoners will be celebrating this lucky holiday among other cities around the world, including New York, Sydney and Dublin.

London's main St. Patrick's Day Festival, Sunday 16, 12-6pm, is on the Southbank, by the London Eye, between Jubilee Gardens and the National Theatre. Do a little jig, drink some stout and be merry. It's free and fun for the family. Two stages will feature Irish dancing and some of Ireland's leading song, rock and pop artists: Ronnie Drew, The Undertones, Mary Coughlan and more. Also experience the arts and crafts marquees, food and drink vendors, and the kid's zone.

Watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade, 12:30pm, as the community school children from local schools, Irish dancers, community groups, support organisations, local bands and members of the community travel through central London and then disperse at Temple.

St. Patrick (born Maewyn Succat near the end of the fourth century), a British-native, was kidnapped at age 16 and sold into slavery in Ireland. After escaping, Patrick studied Christianity and travelled across Ireland, converting Pagans into Christians. Legend has it that Patrick ridded Ireland of all its snakes, a Pagan religious symbol. Called a hero and a saint for driving Paganism out of Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has been celebrated for over 500 years.

Tubes for the Festival: Waterloo, Embankment, Westminster, Charing Cross
Tubes on or within proximity of Parade route: Hyde Park Corner, Green Park, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross

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